The Disciplinary Commission of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) banned Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak for one year for displaying the letter Z during the award ceremony at the World Cup in Doha, the FIG's press service reports.
The competition was held in March. There 20-year-old Russian took third place (the first place was taken by Ukrainian Ilya Kovtun, the second by an athlete from Kazakhstan Milad Karimi). The Russian appeared at the award ceremony wearing a uniform with the letter Z, a symbol of support for the Russian army in the war with Ukraine.
The FIG stated that the Russian athlete violated the statutes, the disciplinary code, the code of ethics, the code of conduct and the technical regulations of the federation. He will be banned from competing under the auspices of the FIG until May 17, 2023. Kuliak must return the bronze medal, as well as the money prize of 500 Swiss francs, and pay 2,000 francs in legal fees.
On April 22, Olympic swimming champion Yevgeny Rylovwas suspended from international competitions for participating in a rally-concert «Za Russia.» On March 22, it was reported that Yevgeny Rylov lost his sponsorship contract with Speedo also because of participation in the rally-concert in Luzhniki.
More than 95,000 people attended that concert (over 100,000more were near the arena). The event was attended by Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, head of RT Margarita Simonyan, and such Russian pop singers as Polina Gagarina, Nikolai Baskov, Oleg Gazmanov, Timati, and others. In addition to Rylov, other Russian athletes took part in the concert: three-time Olympic skiing champion Alexander Bolshunov, rhythmic gymnasts Dina and Arina Averina, 16-year-old gymnast Victoria Listunova, Beijing 2022 figure skating medalists Evgeniya Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
Some of the athletes wore jackets with the letter Z. At the same time, according to media reports, the Averin sisters,while posting pictures from the event, painted over the Z symbol using Photoshop.